Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law
In the law which was given unto them, of which they boasted, and pretended to understand, and interpret, even in ( Psalms 82:6 ) ; for the law includes not only the Pentateuch, but all the books of the Old Testament: it is an observation of one of the Jewish doctors F20, that
``with the wise men of blessed memory, it is found in many places that the word law comprehends the Prophets and the Hagiographa.''Among which last stands the book of Psalms; and this may be confirmed by a passage out of the Talmud F21; it is asked,
``from whence does the resurrection of the dead appear, (hrwth Nm) , "out of the law?"''It is answered,
``as it is said in ( Psalms 84:4 ) : "Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will still praise thee, Selah; they do praise thee", it is not said, but "they will praise thee"; from hence is a proof of the resurrection of the dead, "out of the law".''The same question is again put, and then ( Isaiah 52:8 ) is cited, and the like observation made upon it. Moreover, this is a way of speaking used by the Jews, when they introduce another citing a passage of Scripture thus F23, (Mktrwtb bytk alh) , "is it not written in your law", ( Deuteronomy 4:9 ) , "only take heed to thyself" so here the Scripture follows,
I said, ye are gods?
which is spoken to civil magistrates, so called, because of their authority and power; and because they do, in some sort, represent the divine majesty, in the government of nations and kingdoms. Many of the Jewish writers, by "gods", understand "the angels". The Targum paraphrases the words thus:
``I said ye are accounted as angels, as the angels on high, all of you;''and to this sense some of their commentators interpret it. Jarchi's gloss is, ye are gods; that is, angels; for when I gave the law to you, it was on this account, that the angel of death might not any more rule over you: the note of Aben Ezra is, "and the children of the Most High": as angels; and the sense is, your soul is as the soul of angels: hence the F24 Jew charges Christ with seeking refuge in words, that will not profit, or be any help to him, when he cites these words, showing that magistrates are called gods, when the sense is only, that they are like to the angels in respect of their souls: but let it be observed, that it is not said, "ye are as gods", as in ( Genesis 3:5 ) , but "ye are gods"; not like unto them only, but are in some sense gods; and besides, to say that they are like to angels, with respect to their souls, which come from above, is to say no more of the judges of the earth, than what may be said of every man: to which may be added, that this objector himself owns, that judges are called (Myhla) , "gods", as in ( Exodus 22:9 ) ; the cause of both parties shall come before (Myhla) , "the judges"; and that even the word is used in this sense in this very psalm, from whence these words are cited, ( Psalms 82:1 ) , "he judgeth among" (Myhla) , "the gods"; and both Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret this text itself in the same way, and observe, that judges are called gods, when they judge truly and aright: all which is sufficient to justify our Lord in the citation of this passage, and the use he makes of it.
F20 R. Azarias in Meor Enayim, c. 7. fol. 47. 1.
F21 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 91. 2.
F23 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2.
F24 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 51. p. 440, 441.